The pool water looks dark amongst the reflections of blue skies, banyan trees and that long strip of azure slowly filling up with little fishing boats. The sun hasn’t set yet, and even when it does the heat will still be in the early 30s. So the pool water is kept cool and still, a reprieve from the heat, a haven from which to watch the remote wilderness of the Nui Chua Ninh Thuan National Park, a surprisingly large section of which the village-like Amanoi calls home.

It’s purposefully lonesome here, each villa perched far apart connected by small roads, separated by such wilderness and so many hills that one wonders how the buildings were achieved. Viewed from our windows, the closest villa looks like little more than a roof peaking over the trees. Our ocean-view pool villa (number 18) is satisfyingly large, and the terrace that houses the pool looks towards the peaks of the national park in one direction and to the sea in the other — bird calls and bigger noises surround us. The monkeys or the sun bears perhaps? We never encounter either, unfortunately.

We’re told this villa is unique, that the others in the category look only towards the sea. We view one as our sea view isn’t quite what we expected (our expectations were extremely high) and find it small by comparison. The sea view is better, but it lacks the all-enveloping nature that number 18 boasts. It also feels slightly less private and we are here to be alone, to indulge the solitude and the space. So number 18 is where we’ll stay for our four exceptional nights at the Amanoi.

We made our way to the Amanoi from London. But we first landed in Saigon to spend a few days sipping coffee and the best oolong tea you’ll find anywhere in the world, re-learning the rules of Vietnamese roads, and exploring temples, cocktail bars and skyscrapers reflected in the Saigon River. From there it was another flight to Nha Trang, where we were met at the gate by an Amanoi rep who loaded our baggage into a waiting car loaded with water and other refreshments to be whisked in the opposite direction of the nearby Six Senses into this truly remote side of Vietnam. We checked in with Joy the GM, painless, though we were tired and found the (admittedly necessary) resort tour a chore and so opted to be whisked away to our villa halfway through. Check-in could be smoother, there are a lot of forms, and lots of waivers on paper that could be digital, but otherwise, it’s informal and short.

I have a lot of thoughts on check-in processes but I’ll keep this simple to say that I think Four Seasons in Hoi An does this better: arrive, driven by buggy to the villa, confirm check-in details over tea, butler leaves us to enjoy our villa.

We settle in and find the reading nook that overlooks the national park abuzz with harmless giant black bees just beyond the window. It’s a romantic view, the emerald treetops tumbling towards the water, rambling over hills, undisturbed. It’s the kind of spot that invites naps with a nursery rhyme breeze. We fought off the desire for sleep or plunging into the pool and instead finished the resort tour, learning that everything at the Amanoi is separated by trees and hills, and only reachable by buggies that zip around the tight lanes whenever you need one. First, we speed along curvaceous metre-wide roads to the beach and the beach club, then up to the main house and the restaurant and its beautiful bar and off to the pretty as a teardrop lake to find the spa and a few more villas — each fine-tuned for wellness.

As the sun sets we’re in our pool watching the boats begin to occupy the waters. The water is an ever darker shade of blue, and the shoreline across the bay is slowly blinking into life with rust-coloured lighting. But the boats are strapped with bright lights, that by nightfall look like stars far off on the horizon, like someone turned the sky upside down, emptying planets like marbles. We’re told the light attracts squid, which in turn end up on the plates of the local restaurants in Vĩnh Hy, the local village. Under the pale sky of morning, we hike to the top of Goga Peak, the resort’s resident trek, signposted from a side road just a few moments from the main building. We find it busy with 6 or 7 fellow sunrise hunters and at least two butlers who have taken their charges to the summit for the views. It’s 5 am and the sun nudges over the horizon between two distant rocks, creating the kind of dreamy cliched photo op that people only ever received through the post until they travelled to the Amanoi. It’s a sublime sunrise. The sun etches new colour onto million-year-old rocks, reflecting across the villas of the resort to our back, as the last of the fishing boats return from an evening with the squid. We stay after the other groups have left to be alone and to watch the sun swerve into the sky, but we soon receive a call from the guest concierge checking in to make sure we haven’t succumbed to exhaustion on the 15-minute hike. Did I mention they gave us a phone before we set off? Concientious to be sure, but perhaps just a touch overbearing.

Dinners at the Amanoi are highly customisable, in that they can be eaten almost anywhere. The main restaurant serves a play-it-safe menu of Vietnamese staples and we enjoyed a dinner or two there — particularly because the setting is beautiful, and the service is amenable and helpful — going as far as teaching us how to roll fresh Vietnamese rice rolls, but the truly good food is reserved for special events, of which we participated in two. The first is a private beach lunch somewhere closer to the entrance of the resort. The beach is all rocks and a fossilised record of all life that came before us. We scour it and find fossilised coral, snail shells, a dead puffer fish and, unfortunately, quite a bit of washed-up jetsam before we eat lunch on a lifted table positioned in such a way as to view the entire world. A world that today is made up of sky, sea and shell, all perfectly posed and intensely pretty. Today is one of the few times we find room for complaint, we’re sold a private beach reached by boat in ten minutes where one can snorkel and swim, but in practise, we’re told it’s impossible to reach by boat because it is too rocky. It’s no good for snorkelling for the same reason. So as a compromise, we’re carried off by boat for a small tour of the local village by water without much explanation and then taken to the private beach by buggy from the main beach and told to return to the main beach to snorkel…. Very confusing. It seems to be a simple matter, a bit of a disconnect between what the copywriter wrote and what the experts at the resort are selling…something easily tidied up. But the lunch is fabulous regardless. We spend two hours there and not a single person comes into view, either on the villas perched a few hundred metres away or on the neighbouring beach (beach club number 2 for the Amanoi, arriving sometime in the future). We are alone and happy, aesthetes rambling the beachside in a world of our own.

Our second private dinner is our final evening, a beach dinner with a private chef and private service, with candles and lanterns burning leading to the beach and surrounding a table set for two. The views of the boats lit for squid act as distant flickering embers at the other side of the sea, and an echo of finely detuned karaoke echoes from across the water — hinting at local life and slicing into the soundtrack lightly licking across the sand, that includes a lounge version of The Cure’s Lovecats. It speaks of the location, and somehow, on this starry night, the place reminds me of the landlocked Sapa in north Vietnam — a similar quietude interrupted by local life gripping on as the outside world uncovers its secrets. We drink glasses of Vietnamese wine and eat Vietnamese BBQ, and it’s the best food we eat at the Amanoi with genuinely inventive dishes, well-spiced, lovingly curated and unique flavours at their best in the desserts. Our server wants to do more for us, it’s clear, but we’re happy to talk and eat, drink and stare at the beautiful view. We are here for a romantic interlude, a symphony of silent experiences curated to our desires.

And this is where the Amanoi excels. It is just indulgent enough to be special regardless of who you are, silent enough to be recharging (and with a spa to do the rest), and remote enough to be experiential. To us, it is a playground for quiet pleasures. We exerted ourselves to a minimal degree twice: once on the peak on the hunt for sunrise and again kayaking on the water. The rest of our time we split between pool and sun lounger, lovely afternoon teas in the restaurant and buggy trips to the pools. This is our Amanoi, and our journey will inevitably lead us back… but hopefully, next time, we’ll get a peak at the monkeys.